10 Things That Shock Canadians When They First Visit Mexico

Mexico
Mexico

A sun-soaked climate, notoriously flavourful food and vibrant culture there’s a reason why Mexico tops the wanderlust wish-list of many Canadians.

But as with any voyage away from your home base, a trip to Mexico comes with some surprising differences to what we’re used to at home. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 10 of the surprising things you might see, experience and taste on your first trip to Mexico.

 

10 Things That Shock Canadians When They First Visit Mexico

 

10. It’s not all sun, sun, sun

Mexico
Mexico

When Canadians think of Mexico, visions of sun and sand are often the first to come to mind. However, if you’re looking to totally avoid the rain, you could be disappointed. Rain is actually quite common in Mexico it’s just different than what you’ll find in a Canadian city like Vancouver.

While it may rain every day during the rainy season (which, in central and southern Mexico means May or June through October or November), the rain usually only lasts a short while and then makes way for the sunshine.

 

9. Bottled water is best

drinking water
drinking water

The warnings you may have heard about drinking tap water in Mexico are true — it’s not a good idea if you want to avoid potential stomach distress. While tap water is the drink of choice in many Canadian cities, Mexican water systems are different, and locals shun the tap in favour of purified or bottled water.

 

8. You can dine out on a dime (or a few pesos)

Mexican Foods
Mexican Foods

If you’re a foodie on a budget, dining out in Mexico can be a serious (cost-effective) treat. Even if you aren’t doing an all-inclusive Mexican resort, certain foods are much less expensive in Mexico than in Canada.

What’s the secret? Because a lot of the produce we eat at home is grown in or close to Mexico, it’s much less expensive for restaurants and food providers to acquire it — and those delicious savings are passed on to diners.

 

7.Kicking it is commonplace

Colombia
Colombia Soccer Event

While there are certainly soccer fans in the Great White North, it’s not exactly our national sport. In Mexico, soccer — or “football”, as it’s more commonly called in Mexico, Central America and South America — is the most popular sport for athletes and fans.

 

6.Driving differences

college student driving
college student driving

Something that you’ll notice the minute you leave the airport is the difference in road rules in Mexico. Case in point? While it would be extremely unusual to see passengers travelling in the back of a truck in most Canadian cities,

it’s not uncommon for people to pile up in the back of a pick-up in Mexico. You’ll likely also encounter more relaxed rules when it comes to renting and driving a scooter.

5.Life (and death) is celebrated

Life and Death Mexico
Life and Death Mexico

Attitudes towards death are different than what we generally see in Canada, as many Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) as a holiday that celebrates the memories of lost loved ones.

Instead of focusing on the sadness of death with dark colours and sombre tones, you’ll find colourful skulls and skeletons inspired by this holiday are common cultural symbols.

 

4. Breakfast is a big deal

breakfast
breakfast

For most of the Mexican population, breakfast tends to be the biggest meal of the day, with lunch typically being quite light. The most popular breakfast choices? Chilaquiles (a tortilla-based dish) is a classic traditional breakfast, with café con leche (coffee with milk) giving many Mexicans their morning caffeine.

 

3. New foodie finds

Mexico Foods
Mexican Foods

If your only exposure to Mexican cuisine has been within Canada, chances are that you’ve missed out on a wide range of mouth-watering dishes that you won’t get at Mexican-themed Canadian restaurants. While you will find familiar favourites like tacos, they won’t be like the hard-shelled tacos you have at home.

You’ll also find new-faves like spicy corn-on-the-cob on most street corners, and an array of sauces like a savoury chocolate mole or spicy salsa verde.

 

2.Speed bumps are everywhere

Speed Bumps
Speed Bumps

While driving rules may seem laxer in Mexico, the roads are designed to curtail speed with lots — seriously — lots of speed bumps (a.k.a. “topes”), found everywhere from residential roads to highways.

 

1.There’s so much more to the map

Mexico people
Mexico people

When booking a Mexican vacation, the first places that come to mind are likely the resort cities like Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Cancún — but the Mexico map is full of a vast collection of incredible cities full of history and stunning sites. Visit Tulum to pay respect to incredible ancient Mayan ruins, or trek to San Cristóbal de las Casas to take in the colourful colonial architecture.

 

Source: | Slice